PEMBINA, N.D. (KFGO) – NFI Group, a Canadian multinational bus manufacturer based in Winnipeg, announced earlier this year it planned to close its Motor Coach Industries bus plant in Pembina, North Dakota to cut costs. The factory has operated since 1963 and has nearly 200 employees. The closure was originally scheduled for the end of this month, but has been changed and will close in June of 2023.
Jeremy Pearson is the regional representative of the International Association of Machinists Union which represents the Pembina plant employees. He says efforts have been made to reverse the decision and keep the Motor Coach assembly plant open.
Pearson says the employees will continue “to the very end” to save the plant. He says there are a lot of people who live in surrounding small North Dakota and Minnesota communities that will likely have to move to find employment elsewhere. That will have a major impact on the area economy.
A spokesperson for the MCI company told KFGO News that the coach business has experienced a significant amount of change over the past two years as a result of challenging business conditions. That led to the decision to close Pembina operations.
The company acknowledges the Pembina closure creates uncertainty for the employees and it’s doing its “very best” to offer transition and placement services, or redeploy employees within the NFI Group, where possible.
NFI also has New Flyer bus plants in Crookston and St. Cloud.